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Member Since 02 Apr 2010
Online Last Active Today, 02:29 PM

Topics I've Started

In The Studio Forum F. A. Q. Listing (Frequently Asked Questions)

23 February 2014 - 10:14 AM

This strand will be a series of compilations from In the Studio forum. Please do not reply, as these are to be without-wanderings. If you have an idea for a new line here-PM me.


PS not my idea, but one John has set up in the Technical forum.


Best, Preston

How Do You Store Your Kiln Shelves?

06 February 2014 - 12:01 PM

I used to stack shelves where ever I could find a place to put them-which seemed to always be in the way in the shop. Being a small room, I just could never find a place out of the  way to store them. I decided last year enough moving them around-I built a cart out of scrap materials from a deck build and added heavy wheels to the base. It works well in my situation as I can push it into a corner or some other area and have it out of the way, yet have it handy when I need to load or unload the kiln. It  is also easy to get it to the work area for kiln washing or scraping.  How do you store your shelves?

How Do You Start Your Trimming?

21 January 2014 - 05:21 PM

When I first learned to throw, trimming was one of the next things I had to master. My prof demonstrated using the trimming tools and working the outside edge of the piece and then working the foot ring in, then if needed leveling off the foot ring with a needle tool.  I had very little problem with this technique, as we were using Randall wheels with plaster bats. Everything dried off the bat, and so there was not cutting off from the wheel head.  Crank up 3 years when I started at Penn State and using metal wheel heads and having to cut everything off with cutting wire. Sloppy uneven bottoms that would grab my tools and cause uneven pots that had difficult times getting even-plus I was still a newbie. Someone, either a prof or student showed me to use a flat blade held perpendicular across the whole piece directly over the center. By pressing down with this blade the entire bottom would be leveled out. I started to use it constantly and found that there was never any need for the needle tool leveling of the foot ring. It also made it easier to get very even areas on casseroles, plates and other wider forms. I use the technique on nearly everything unless I decide to use a wiggle wire with an untrimmed base.

Bad Accidents That Weren't So Bad

22 December 2013 - 07:50 PM

Years ago, I was looking for a stable platform to do some sawing with my circular saw. In a rush, and not really thinking I used the my CXC to support the lumber, started sawing, not realizing that I cut a notch into the wheel head! I beat myself up for months about it. Then realized one day when throwing my patens(plates) on a wooden bat that the notch allowed perfect leverage to remove the bat. . . gently. I used to use an old trim jim, and get it wedged between the bat and the head, but feeling the notch and lifting on the wooden edge of the bat worked better. Would never try it again, but that one time the accident turned out right.   Have any of you had something similar happen?

How Do You "open Up"

27 November 2013 - 11:13 AM

There have been a lot strands about learning how to throw. Lately, I have been throwing some larger(8-10#) bowls for Christmas, and returned to an old technique I used when working at Penn State. Back then I was throwing 20-25# bowls and learned to use my elbow to open up for the bowls. I also used my fist to open up for large cylinders, even trying the punch technique to open up. Usually I open up using the middle finger, or the middle two or three. When I first started throwing I always used my thumb to open up, but found later that other techniques worked better for me. I still use the thumb to open up for throwing off the hump since I make a pancake with the thumb and then raise the sides. Just wondering, what do other people do to open up for different forms?